It looked as though the Pittsburgh Pirates were going to lose their 76th game of the season on Friday night, as they trailed the Cincinnati Reds by a 2-1 score entering the ninth inning. The Pirates rallied for a pair of runs in the inning, walking off on the Reds in the first game of this three game series at PNC Park.
Mitch Keller started for the Pirates, giving up one run on six hits with nine strikeouts in six innings of work. Michael Feliz pitched a scoreless inning, while Keone Kela gave up a run on two hits in the eighth inning. Felipe Vazquez earned the victory after pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The Reds took the lead in the top of the second on a solo homerun by Aristides Aquino. A groundout by Colin Moran in the sixth scored Bryan Reynolds to tie the game, but Aquino’s double in the top of the eighth scored Freddy Galvis to once again give Cincinnati the advantage.
A pair of singles won the game for Pittsburgh in the bottom of the ninth. Adam Frazier’s hit scored Erik Gonzalez to tie the game, and a line drive by Pablo Reyes scored Joe Musgrove for the game’s winning run.
While it is depressing that these games mean nothing to the Pirates’ season at this point, it is still exciting to see a walkoff victory. Keller pitched well on Friday. Given he is a huge piece to the Bucs’ future on the mound, this was a good sight to see.
The Reds and Pirates will meet back up at PNC Park on Saturday for the second game of this series. Alex Wood will take the mound for Cincinnati against Trevor Williams for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Reds: 9-5
Record vs. N.L. Central: 22-37
Record at Home: 27-36
Overall Record: 53-75
Let’s Go Bucs!